In Practice

We are tired of 'adrenal fatigue'

I L Ross, J Jones, M Blockman

Abstract


There are numerous articles in the lay press discussing the existence and under-diagnosis of adrenal fatigue. Proponents of adrenal fatigue state that millions of people have under-active adrenal glands due to repeated stressors, resulting in numerous nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, joint pain and weight gain, among others. In studies to date, proposed methods to assess adrenal fatigue have produced conflicting results and the methodology for assessing the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has often been inappropriate. Furthermore, only a minority of studies have actually examined the HPA axis. Current evidence does not support the existence of adrenal fatigue or the usefulness of supplements to support adrenal function.


Authors' affiliations

I L Ross, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetic Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

J Jones, Division of Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

M Blockman, Division of Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

Adrenal fatigue; Lack of evidence

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2018;108(9):724-725. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2018.v108i9.13292

Article History

Date submitted: 2018-08-28
Date published: 2018-08-28

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